The Loves of Edgar Allan Poe (1942)

Article #880 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 8-12-2003
Posting Date: 1-9-2004
Directed by Harry Lachman
Featuring Shepperd Strudwick, Linda Darnell, Virginia Gilmore

This movie tells the story of the life of Edgar Allan Poe and the women in his life.

This isn’t the first biopic I’ve seen for this series; in fact, it isn’t even the first Poe biopic (that honor goes to THE RAVEN (1914)). Unfortunately, that earlier biopic, though it was weird and hard to follow, did capture more of the feel of Poe, especially during its dramatization of ‘The Raven’; here, we only see bits of it read in front of an audience. In fact, the only fantastic aspect of this movie is that it’s about a writer of horror stories. I don’t know the exact details of Poe’s life, but I do know they sound somewhat interesting; however, I’m really not interested in Poe’s romantic entanglements near as much as the makers of this movie were. As it is, I find it rather dull and obvious, with the high points being appearances by Henry Morgan (who I wouldn’t have recognized except that his voice hadn’t changed all that much between this movie and his stint on ‘M*A*S*H’) and an early appearance by perennial army general Morris Ankrum as a publisher. It also features historical personages Thomas Jefferson and Charles Dickens among its characters.

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